Shannon Williams

To Give or Not to Give

| by Shannon Williams

We have officially entered the season of thanksgiving. In American culture, we show gratitude through gifts. We bring flowers to the hostess of the dinner party. We give goodie bags to 6-year-olds at the birthday party. We hand out favors at weddings, baby showers, and fundraising eve…

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Tailgating: A Lesson in Strategic Planning

| by Shannon Williams

Over the weekend I had the privilege of tailgating at college football’s number one tailgate destination: The Grove at Ole Miss. If you know me, you know I take tailgating seriously, even when my team isn’t as committed to its part of the equation as I am to mine. But in Oxford,…

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Two Ears and One Mouth

| by Shannon Williams

I have the pleasure have helping board members, staff leaders, and campaign volunteers hone their fundraising skills on a regular basis. Recently, I was reminded by a volunteer of one of the most important lessons: We have two ears and one mouth. As a fundraiser (paid or volunteer), th…

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Confidence: A Fundraising Gamechanger

| by Shannon Williams

Confidence is a critical element to success in almost any endeavor. In fundraising, it is a gamechanger. Without confidence, fundraising professionals and volunteers do the most dangerous thing of all—nothing. I have seen it over and over. Professionals and volunteers who lack confid…

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Prove Yourself in the Little Things

| by Shannon Williams

Our oldest son started his summer internship a couple of weeks ago. My husband reminded him that you must prove that you are responsible in the little things before you are given additional responsibilities. So much truth in so many aspects of life, especially fundraising. In our professio…

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A Lesson in Customer Service

| by Shannon Williams

Earlier this year I was searching for a private space in Raleigh for part one of a strategic planning process. Specifically, I was looking for a room for about a dozen people to engage in part meeting, part team building, including dinner. I started by completing the online inquiry forms of…

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Better Together?

| by Shannon Williams

In planning for a capital campaign, the question often comes up—should we combine our annual, capital, and planned giving efforts into one comprehensive campaign, counting all three efforts into one total goal? There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but there are fac…

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The Value of a Regular Organizational Check-Up

| by Shannon Williams

Regular check-ups are part of life. Whether it’s your teeth, your eyes, your car inspection, or your HVAC unit, we are conditioned to schedule annual exams and execute regular maintenance. So why is the thought of an organizational assessment so terrifying? For many leaders of for-pro…

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Do the Best You Can With What You Got

| by Shannon Williams

Nearly 20 years ago I met Judy Bright for lunch at Darryl’s on Hillsborough Street. A mutual friend suggested that we connect. Other than the fact that she worked at the YMCA, I knew nothing about her.  I was nine months into my new vocation as a mom and I was unsure where …

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The Day After

| by Shannon Williams

As we say in the South, it’s fall, y’all. Time for tailgates, pumpkin patches, and hay rides. And in the non-profit sector, it’s time for giving days.  Giving Tuesday is the most well know of course, but higher education and independent schools also ha…

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